Preserving Resolutions

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Happy New Year, all you canners and jar lovers!I hope you’ve all had a lovely holiday season and that you were on the receiving end of a few lovely edibles in jars (I got two separate jars of peach jam, one spicy and the other scented with rosemary. I’m looking forward to opening them both in due time).

It’s that time of year when bloggers all across the nation announce the ways in which they’re going to grab hold of the shiny, fresh new year and achieve! great! things! I’ve written up a few more personal resolutions over on my other blog but I figured this blog needed a few goals of its own. So here we go…

1. Offer up one new recipe a week. Be it a jam, pickle, preserve, chutney or more, it’s going to be a wonderful year of delicious foods in jars.

2. Participate (without fail) in the Tigress Can Jam. I admit, this is more of a pleasure than a hardship, but still, I wanted to publicly declare my participation.

3. Make sure to eat and enjoy all the wonderful things I put into jars last summer and fall. I sometimes get so wrapped up in the pleasure of having those colorful jars tucked away, that I forget that I need to be pulling them back out and enjoying them. To that end, I promise to do a better job of sharing how I integrate all those preserves into my cooking routine.

4. Teach more classes. Well-meaning friends often ask me why I don’t get into the business of selling my jams and pickles. My reason, I tell them, is that I don’t want to become a producer of artisanal foods (it’s a wonderful thing for lots of people, it’s just not for me). My goal is to teach people how to make all these lovely things for themselves, so that more and more folks can have a hand in the things they eat on a daily basis. It’s not about paying $8 for a jar of dilly beans, it’s about making a dozen jars for that price and then feeling a deep sense of accomplishment for having produced something delicious and tangible.

I already have two classes on the books for 2010. The first is a Homemade Condiments Class on January 16 and the second is a Marmalade Class on February 13. Both are at Foster’s Homewares (their new location, at 33 N. 3rd Street). However, I’m up for more. If you want me to come and teach a class in your area this spring or summer, let’s talk. All I need is a venue (community centers and churches/synagogues often have usable spaces) and enough people to cover the cost of time/travel/supplies. If you’re interested setting something up for the coming year, shoot me an email at foodinjars@gmail.com.

Since we’re talking preserving goals, I’d love to hear what the rest of you are planning for 2010!

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16 responses to “Preserving Resolutions”

  1. Sorry to ask this in a somewhat unrelated thread, but I just made a gallon of the ham stock you posted up a while ago. I’m going to pressure can it today. What’s your favorite way to use it? How did your batch turn out?

  2. Tim, it’s a good question and somewhat related, since I just proclaimed that I was going to talk more about what I do with all these canned goods now that it’s winter and time to eat them.

    I’ve used the ham stock as a base for soup and in a meaty risotto. It’s good for braising vegetables (you don’t need much in this application and I often find myself wishing I’d done a few pints instead of all quarts) and the liquid when making cauliflower puree. I’ve also included some when cooking a pot of beans (it doesn’t add really strong flavor if you use water as well, but does add a nice smokiness. This works best when paired with a bit of bacon).

    I hope that helps!

  3. I have a lot of canning things planned also. Mine is to do a lot more pressure canning….which is what I’m doing today. I’m doing a sauce with meat. Doing a big batch (yes with tomatoes I canned) and then when something special comes up for someone I will be giving them a jar with noodles. More pickles, more one jar dinners (it will help when I don’t want to come home and cook) and like everyone else more of everything canned! Like you I need to eat some of them also! But they sure are pretty sitting there. Oh and write on my blog!

  4. Will do more pickling. I barely touched on it this past year and was thrilled by the pickle relish. Not even the same planet as store bought. Joy of Pickling book is coming for me for Valentines Day! I have a wonderful husband!

  5. Well, I’m new here, but very excited to learn more about canning. My goal this year is to actually purchase a pressure canner. I’ve stuck to water bath canning, but I need to branch out. Also, I would like to do more pickling. My first try (dilly beans) was a tremendous success and surprisingly easy! (My husband thought I was wonderful for making them!)

    So, can you suggest a good pressure canner?

  6. I only got into canning last year, and made a couple of batches of jam. I recently received a book called Small Batch Preserving, and I think I’m going to make a chutney or two later this month, with a friend along for the ride. It’ll be fun to have a project buddy, AND it’ll help me get rid of the bounty. I’m glad you’ll be posting new recipes regularly!

  7. Same as “Amy blogs”: learn how to pressure can. I just discovered your blog and am thrilled! I live in Portland loved your PSU farmers market photos. What is the company that sells canned goods in your photo? Are those beets? YUM!

  8. Well, as we discussed, I am thinking about taking the Master Food Preserver class. I would love to be at the point where I could consider teaching others how to can. But I feel like I need to learn a lot more first.

  9. I only got one jar of pickles from friends, but that’s alright: we’re much more together than everyone we hang out with! On the giving end, preserves and quilted hot-pads made up most of my gift supply; it was the homemadest Christmas we’ve had yet!

    This year I want to make MORE of the great recipes I tried out this year but only in quantities so small as to make rationing a sad necessity. Also, this is the year for preserving more of what we grow ourselves. I put up about three times more jams, pickles, and relish in 2009 than I did in 2008; I can only imagine what 2010 will bring!

  10. I want to put up some pickles this year! Also, I’m going to plan out my canning this year via “Putting Up” so that I’m not wishing to make strawberry jam in September.

  11. I just read somewhere recently from some corporate authority that pressure canning is no longer recommended due to food safety concerns. Have you heard this? I don’t pressure can, I just do jams, tomatoes, applesauce, etc, but thought it was interesting, nonetheless. I wish I could remember where I saw it. It was only a week or so ago.

  12. Keep on writing, do the Can Jam, learn more, listen more, read more, garden better, grow more fruit, and yes, stop hoarding the jars and let them be enjoyed, so there can be more shelf space for next year’s preserves! Oh, and pray for a good tomato season!

  13. Thanks for the inspiration! This year, I’d like to tackle more fruit canning – cherries, peaches, etc. I have the tomato thing down, and have done a fair amount of jelly making. I’m good to go on halved pears and applesauce, though I’m still on a quest to find a local orchard that grows heirloom Transparent Apples, my gold applesauce standard from childhood.

    I’d also like to try canning soup – my grandmother is getting to the point where she forgets to defrost things and making from scratch is too hard. For all the years she cooked and canned for us, I figure the least we can do is the same for her as long as we can! Stock has been a huge success for us this year, too, so I figure soup is the next step.

    Unrelated to actual canning, I also want to get into the habit of making yogurt. My freezing is at my current apartment freezer capacity and I’m in the groove of making sandwich bread and cereal. Yogurt is on my list, as is home made pasta.

    Nothing like being a little over ambitious 😉 Don’t ask me where I’m going to store all this – but I’ll find a way!

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